Lessons from Crowdsourcing Board Service
YNPN Chicago hosts a monthly #YNPNChiChat on Twitter, connecting virtually with their members and sparking important conversations within the nonprofit sector. They recently tackled the topic of Board Service to answer potential members’ burning questions about joining a board and hear from experts across the country.
Written by YNPN Chicago Board Member SommerAnn McCullough, below are the key takeaways you should know before joining a board! As a network of 50,000+ young nonprofit professionals, we hope to see you at a future #YNPNChiChat, hosted the second Thursday of the month from 12pm-1pm CT.
Top 3 Reasons You Should Join a Board
1. Professional Development
Members of YNPN Chapters across the country and other auxiliary boards all agreed that professional development is the number one benefit of serving on a board. Whether it is growing skills to support your day job, or taking-on projects and responsibilities you wouldn’t have a chance to explore in your 9-5, board service allows you to build transferable skills alongside a team of committed professionals. Top skills people mentioned were:
- Fundraising & Development
- Shared Leadership & Working as a Team
- Relationship Building
- Time Management
2. Take Your Career to the Next Level
Multiple professionals in our chat mentioned how their time on a YNPN board jump-started their career and allowed them to land a new position...sometimes in an entirely new field, they had no experience in before serving on a board! The great thing about YNPN chapters is you can focus on multiple areas of expertise, from fundraising and special events to marketing and volunteer management. Whether you are gaining new hard skills like event planning and finance or sharpening up soft skills like time management and collaboration, your employers will take notice of your commitment to becoming a smarter and more well-rounded nonprofit professional.
3. Diversify Your Network
People love to boast about their network, but we all know it’s less about the number on your LinkedIn profile and more about the value of those connections. Serving on a YNPN board connects you to people in all types of nonprofits, from small, grassroots organizations to national institutions. Chances are, you won’t only make great contacts for the next time you’re on a job search, but meet people who can help you with the day-to-day responsibilities of your current role by sharing their skills and expertise.
Oh, and did I mention the amazing friends you’ll meet on a board? As you’ll see on our #YNPNChiChat story, people loved talking about the personal relationships they’ve gained as board members. It’s not just about the professional, but also the personal, connections you make! All of the happy hours and conversations will lead to lasting friends in the nonprofit sector and create a strong team of people in your city that you can rely on for years to come.
SommerAnn serves as the Marketing & Communications Coordinator with Girls in the Game, a Chicago non-profit committed to empowering girls through sports, health and leadership programs. She is passionate about implementing creative and thought-provoking marketing strategies and campaigns to raise awareness around girls' issues and fight for equality in the city of Chicago. SommerAnn serves as a Communications Co-Chair on the YNPN Chicago board, and you can find her at one of their signature networking events each month! Outside of the nonprofit sector, SommerAnn loves reading novels, trying new vegetarian recipes, walking in the beautiful parks of Chicago and spending the weekend with her family. Follow her on Twitter @samccull.